Raul Gonzalez-Santamaria, Qingping Zou, Shunqi Pan, Roberto Padilla-Hernandez


The Wave Hub project will create the world’s largest wave farm off the coast of Cornwall, Southwest England. This study is to investigate wave and tide interactions, in particular their effects on bottom friction and sediment transport at the wave-farm coast. This is an ambitious project research which includes the use of a very complex numerical modelling system. The main question to answer is how waves, tidal currents and winds affect the bottom friction at the Wave Hub site and the near-shore zone, as well as their impact on the sediment transport. Results show that tidal elevation and tidal currents have a significant effect on the wave height predictions, tidal forcing and wind waves have a significant effect on the bed shear-stress, relevant to sediment transport, waves via radiation stresses have an important effect on the long-shore and cross-shore velocity components, particularly during the spring tides, waves can impact on bottom boundary layer and the mixing in the water column. Interactions between waves and tides at the Wave Hub site is important when modelling coastal morphology influenced by wave energy devices, this open-source modelling system tool will help the study of physical impacts on the Wave Hub farm area.


Wave Hub; marine renewable energy; wave-current interaction; wave-tide interaction; SWAN; ROMS

Full Text:



Booij, N., Ris, R.C., Holthuijsen, L.H. (1999). A third generation wave model for coastal regions, part I, model description and validation. Journal of Geophysical Research 104 (C4), 7649-7666.

Buscombe D.D. & Scott T.M. (2008). The Coastal Geomorphology of North Cornwall, Wave Hub Impact on Seabed and Shoreline Processes – Report,

Haas K.A., Warner J.C. (2009), Comparing a quasi-3D to a full 3D nearshore circulation model: SHORECIRC and ROMS, Ocean Modelling 26, 91-103.

Millar D.L., Smith H.C.M., Reeve D.E. (2007). Modelling analysis of the sensitive of shoreline change to a wave farm. Ocean Engineering 34, 884-901.

Mulligan, R. P., A. E. Hay, and A. J. Bowen (2008), Wave-driven circulation in a coastal bay during the landfall of a hurricane, J. Geophys. Res., 113, C05026, doi:10.1029/2007JC004500.

NOAA Wavewatch III. NOAA/NCEP Operational Wave Models [online]. Available from:

Padman L. and Erofeeva S. (2004), A barotropic inverse tidal model for the Artic Ocean, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 31.

Pleskachevsky Eppel DP, Kapitza H. (2009), Interaction of waves, currents and tides, and wave-energy impact on the beach area of Sylt Island, Ocean Dynamics 59, 451 – 461.

Bowen, A. J. (1969), The generation of longshore currents on a plane beach, J. Mar. Res., 27, 206–214

SWRDA - South West of England Development Agency (2006). Wave Hub Development and Design Phase, SWRDA Group Limited, Coastal Processes Study Report.

SWAN Cycle III version 40.72ABCDE (2009), Scientific and Technical Documentation, Delft University of Technology, pp. 119.

Warner J.C., Sherwood C.R., Signell R.P., Harris C.K., Arango H.G. (2008). Development of a three dimensional, regional, coupled wave, current, and sediment transport model. Computers & Geosciences 34, 1284-1306.

Wolf J., Prandle D. (1999), Some observations of wave-current interaction, Coastal Engineering 37, 471 – 485.